Penny Swift dot com –
My Home on the Internet
Welcome to Penny Swift dot com. If you understand how the internet works, and you choose to use it as a marketing tool, then it’s a no-brainer not to use your name as your URL. Of course, if there are lots of people with the same name as yours then it may not be possible, but it’s certainly worth a try.
I started dabbling with websites in the last century – in the mid-1990s! That was before WordPress and a few other companies offered web software that now makes it possible for anybody to create professional websites without any lengthy training. On a whim I did a search for www.pennyswift.com and was mortified to find that the URL belonged to another Penny Swift who wasn’t even born with the name (like me!), but had married a Swift. To make it worse, she had no interest whatsoever in the Swift name – which I, like many Swifts in my family tree, hold dear to my heart. I kept my eye on the URL for a year or two, and when Penny Swift (a US-based estate agent who had married a Swift) lost interest in it, and it became available in 2011, I made it mine.
What is Penny Swift dot com about?
First of all, this is not a web site about me, even though it is a medium that I use to share experiences and personal discoveries; and I also use it as kind of ever-changing portfolio of the work that I do and am available to do – primarily in the field of writing. I do though confess that it is not always up-to-date because my clients come first.
Having grown up on newspapers before graduating to high street magazines, then printed books, and latterly internet publishing, on an ongoing basis I write about writing, blogging, and creating web sites. I also choose to share some excellent ideas on how to make money using these and other skills. Eventually, when time permits, I aim to write about books and ebooks, and to discuss some of the pros and cons of different methods of publishing these. I write about entrepreneurs, not only from South Africa, but from all over the world, and people who are an inspiration.
Because most of the books I have written are about home improvement, building, decorating and landscaping, there’s a bit about all of this too. Being a keen cook, I’ve included a section where I share my favourite meals and recipes. There is also a section on this site about genealogy where I focus partly on generic issues. I also explore stories about my own family and ancestors (not just Swifts).
Up Close and Personal
What makes this website different to the other websites I contribute to, is that all the advice is mine, and it is based on personal experience. This said, it doesn’t make the other sites impersonal. Apart from these web sites, I contribute to many others, some regularly. The topics I cover are vast and varied and they have lead me to research areas I previously knew precious little about. So you can expect some surprises here too!
Here are some of the websites that my husband, Janek Szymanowski, and I have created together.
On SANS 10400 I share my experience and knowledge about legalities related to building to the best of my ability. In addition it contains information relating to owner building (the topic of our most successful book Owner Building in South Africa), and I discuss my own disasters as well as my successes. I also give advice to those wanting to owner build, as well as those who are already in the process of owner building.
The Argus Report
The Argus Report is named after the hundred-eyed mythological Greek giant, Argus Panoptes (also called Argos). I am hoping that at some stage it will take on its own mythological form. It has an international appeal with a focus on news that was initially primarily health based.
Pools Professor grew partly from my book, Swimming Pools and Spas, unfortunately long out of print. It was also inspired by seven years of producing a bi-annual magazine, NSPI Swimming Pools & Spas for the National Spa & Pool Institute of Southern Africa. While it focuses on local pools and spas, it moves away from the South African platform into an international arena.
The Pond Professor
The Pond Professor is all about ponds and water gardens. This grew from my book, Ponds, Pools and Rockeries published internationally, but also out of print for many years.
A website dedicated to arts and crafts, Crafting DIY showcases a myriad of ideas as well as a few projects of my own. It’s still evolving.
Own the Backyard
Own the Backyard is one of our newest ventures, born primarily out of my love of gardening, especially growing vegetables and herbs at home. Initial topics include kitchen gardens, companion planting, pests, backyard buildings, garden structures, and all-important design elements.
Come right in, settle down at your computer, and if you want me to help you with anything that encompasses my expertise, I’ll do my best. This is my home on the internet, and you’re all welcome.